Dana White: Cris Cyborg is ‘irrelevant’


UFC President Dana White shared thoughts about Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos’ desire to terminate the contract with the UFC, after the parties failed to agree on terms for the Brazilian’s much-anticipated encounter with Ronda Rousey.

Santos competes at 145lbs (Featherweight) division, which already demands a heavy weight cut. According to Cyborg and her manager, UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz, dropping down to 135lbs would be physically impossible.

Former Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight champion will now continue her career elsewhere, most likely in the all-women MMA promotion Invicta. Famous for her aggressive, trademark Chute Boxe style, Cyborg is still one of the biggest attractions in the world of Mixed Martial Arts, and an immediate threat to Ronda Rousey‘s reign as a champion.

Dana White is not happy to lose one of the biggest draws in WMMA (quotes via BloodyElbow.com):

“I’m telling you right now, she wants nothing to do with this fight with Ronda (Rousey). This is the biggest show in the world. We’re working with her to get her a deal or whatever. When you send a letter from your lawyer and your doctor saying I will die if I try to make 135 (pounds), it’s just the goofiest thing. I’ve never seen anything like it in the fight business.

“Okay, so you don’t want to make 135, but you want to talk about fighting Ronda. First of all, you tested positive for steroids and got stripped of your title. And you’re trying to talk about how Ronda doesn’t want to fight you, but she’s the champion at 135. If Ronda goes and does the fight at 140 and does the fight at 140, it’s not even for a title. The fight just makes no sense.

“So what happens is, so we’ll figure something out where Cyborg gets some fights. Ronda defends her title a few times. Then maybe Ronda moves up to whatever and fights… they want nothing to do with that, wants nothing to do with it. It’s wacky beyond wackiness.

“There is no 145-pound women’s division. She’s under contract with us, so we’d get her some fights somewhere else. We get her some fights. Let’s play this 135-pound thing out and see what happens, see where this thing goes. No.

“Cyborg is pretty much irrelevant right now. She really is. She’s irrelevant. Go out there and win some fights again, get your name back, stay clean, stay off some steroids and get your career back on track and then we’ll talk. But for her to think that everybody should move around and jump through hoops for her is insane.”

  • Well not going to comment on what Dana said….

    But I do find it kind of strange that she has made 140 in the past while taking steroids… If you can do that why can't you make 135 without the roids?

    • Taking care of your health is "the goofiest thing"…and Dana has had to lose 30-40 pounds for a fight before, eh?! The guy can be so ignorant it's unreal…

      • no, the goofiest thing is letting a lawyer write a letter instead of sitting down, talk and trying to find a solution. That is what I understand from it.
        Dana states a possible road where everyone chips in. Reacting with a lawyerletter that sais you'll die, is emowankiness.
        (this doesn't mean i'm 100% sure this story went down as Dana states ;))

    • If she is "irrelevant," just release her from her contract. But, Dana is the most consciously bipolar person in sports business: he said the same about Fedor, but did "everything" in his own words to sign him in the UFC…The Cyborg vs Rousey is perhaps the only meaningful and most important fight in the WMMA under Zuffa…

  • Yes…so is Fedor and so was Overeem before coming to terms with the UFC….

  • Until recently, so was women's MMA according to Dana.

  • It's hard to take Dana seriously on this subject. His argument is ostensibly one of having-your-cake-and-eating-it-too.

    On the one hand she's an irrelevant former champion and steroid user and on the other, he signed her and is trying to get her to drop to 135 and fight for a divisional title. Subsequently, I fail to see how she can be both irrelevant and a contender @ the same time.

    Also, on the issue of steroids there are so many male fighters in The UFC who are either on it, have been on it or are on some "sanctioned" version of it, that the issue of Cyborg's drug use is rendered moot, as a point or bone of contention.

    In terms of not seeing the sense of a catch-weight fight @ 140, because there's no belt on the line, then why has he been pushing for a GSP / Silva fight @ 177? Also, when one factors in that Rousey & Cyborg are (easily) the biggest name-brand fighters in WMMA and given that Rousey doesn't exactly have a ton of potential fights lined-up past Carmouche, then the fight actually makes a great deal of sense.

    "There's no 145 pound women's division" – then create one Dana. The same way you did for Rhonda. Call a press conference, give her the belt and viola…you've got a new women's division, that's just as deep and storied as the Rhonda now sits atop of.

    Cyborg's doctor says she can't hit 135 – Did not Anderson Silva's doctor make a similar diagnosis for The Spider a few months back, regarding AS hitting 170? I seem to recall that we were told that Anderson would die if he tried to cut-down to Welter Weight. So, again, to raise this issue as a negative about Cyborg or even perhaps a ruse by Cyborg, is hypocritical on White's behalf. For I do not recall him riding Silva for not being able to hit 170.

    "But for her to think that everybody should move around and jump through hoops for her is insane."…. Replace "her" with "him" and White could be describing his relationship with Anderson Silva. I don't think Cyborg has asked for any special treatment. From what I can tell, all she seems to have done is say…yes to a fight with Rousey @ 140 and ask when and where her next fight might be, regardless of a bout with Rousey.

    I see none of what she's asked for, including being released, as being either outrageous or un-reasonable and It's certainly not insane. Actually, if it's anything, it's rational.

    • "Sharp" alone for using the word "ostensibly" and "bone for contention"
      plus I agreed with what you said 8P 8))

    • Zip

      @ Truth

      If words were fists, you'd be the p4p best fighter on the planet. Easily the best keyboard smack ever.

    • @MMA Truth…..I like your argument…..Dana has giving Rhonda a licence to call the shots at 135. A catchweight at 140 makes sense….If Anderson can be a middleweight and jump up and down in weight classes i am sure Rhonda can meet in the middle…is a superfight between GSP and Silva irrelevant if it happens at a catchweight ? Dana should try to lose some pounds and see how he goes….

    • all true. Yet I've not heard much from Cyborg to install a 145 div. All I see and hear is her crusading for Rhonda to move up in weight.
      If you want your organisation to put in a new weightclass, I'd say stay and fight. Lure the competition in, going to look for it in another weightclass will not help.

  • Women's MMA in general is irrelevant, just like the WNBA, Womens Golf, Curling, Hockey, Tennis etc… This is not being sexist this is just reality.

    • Zip

      @ ripstic

      No it's not. MMA is a whole different animal, both relevant and realistic. What is your hangup with women? Really… we want to know…

      • Hangup? I have never heard that word in such context before. The point is The level of men's sports is much higher generally speaking than women's. Basketball is my favorite sport but I don't watch the WNBA and I don't watch the MEN'S developmental league either, It's not on the same level as the NBA. I don't watch the AHL in hockey, and I don't watch minor league baseball. It has nothing to do with the love of the sport, It really just doesn't interest me. I don't give a fuck if you agree with me or not. I am not interested in women fighting end of story.

        • Zip

          'Never heard that word in context before'. Really? Please let loose with your women's issues… no bleeding women's parts please… Come clean, it may very well do you some good. I'm only here to help 😉

          • 'Women's issues' Great job on the double plural bud! You're helping alright giving me a good laugh. As for having issues with women. Clearly you didn't read my first post.

          • Zip

            @ bleeding vagina

            What's wrong with a double plural, prose master? 'Women's', as I used the term, is possessive in that particular sentence, followed by a plural.

            Your problem with Americans, women, common sense, reason, and decency is well noted, but what is your problem with simple sentence structure and commas?

            Allow me to help. Your post:

            'Women's issues' Great job on the double plural bud! You're helping alright giving me a good laugh. As for having issues with women. Clearly you didn't read my first post.

            Your post with correct punctuation:

            'Women's issues'. Great job on the double plural, bud! You're helping alright, by giving me a good laugh. As for having issues with women, clearly you didn't read my first post.

            I know you're probably busy shaving your legs as you are a cyclist and all, but if you need further assistance, just let me know 🙂

          • 'Women's' being possessive means WOMEN are possessing the issues you complete moron. 'Women' is already refering to MORE THAN ONE! Which means that it's already PLURAL. You didn't refer to any specific group of women, you just said women's issues. You are a complete moron and even more so for trying to justify your ignorance. Once again I feel a strong belief in euthanasia.

          • What does cycling have to do with leg shaving? You're gonna have to explain that one to me cupcake.

    • But, WMMA is a thousand times more entertaining than any other women's sport. Hell, it's more entertaining than a lot of men's sports, like golf. I watch the Prelims of MMA events because I want to be entertained.

  • dana should have a 145 lbs woman championship.

    • @ BA

      A Bellator style tournament, might not be a bad idea.

      • @MMA Lie: yeah your right, not lyk this, u mean sonnen and diaz got a title fight even from coming of a loss.

        • @ Bab A.I.D.S.

          Where I don't think Sonnen should have been offered a fight with Jones, I have no problem with Diaz being given the GSP fight.

          • its still a problem, the bearded should have it first.

  • So 'irrelevant' means too expensive right now then? lol

  • "First of all, you tested positive for steroids and got stripped of your title."

    I wonder if he's this hard on (___Place name of male fighter who failed for steroids here_____) .

  • Skillwise no she isn't but in terms of ranking relevance? Yes she is irrelevant.

    It's not Dana who made the 145 woman's class have next to no talent in it, it was basically kept around for Cyborg and Carano.

    It would be dumb to make a 145 WMMA class in the UFC, impossible to get 5 really talented fighters in it.
    Dana is trying to get Cyborg in to the most stacked WMMA division and where she can make the most money. He may not be doing it for her but that's how it would work out for her.

    Until she drops to 135, she is irrelevant in rankings.

    • @ Keith

      But Keith, she says she can't hit 135. And one would have to figure, that if she could, then why doesn't she? I don't think the answer to that question is either fear or having no desire to fight for a title and have a big payday.

      So, if it's neither of those conditions and they are the only two which make logical sense, then I think we need to take here at her word, which is, she can't make 135.

      If that's the case, then she cannot be blamed for not taking @ 135 and Dana should find some other way to work with and promote this fighter and WMMA.

      And let's face facts Keith, no one put a gun to Dana's head and said…"get into Women's MMA." He has chosen to try and pry open and develop this sport / market of his own free will and volition. Apparently though, beyond Rousey and her 135 division, he seems to have little game-plan for the rest of it.

      What I find odd about it all, is that he just doesn't get a bunch of bodies and build the women's divisions that he needs. Surely, there have to be enough competent female fighters out there that would love this chance. And again, if he wasn't interested in building the divisions and doing it quickly, then why did he go down this path, at all?

      To round it out, if Dana wanted to make Cyborg relevant he could easily do so. He just needs to create 145 division and give her a fight. It's not a complicated formula. It's the same one that he used for Rousey a few months back. 🙂

      • Zip

        @ Truth

        Cyborg's edge is her muscle, she's not giving it up, even for a title. Why Dana doesn't gather the available bodies, I am unsure. Is the talent even there?

        • @ Zip

          I have no idea if the talent is there, I'm not an authority on WMMA. However, what I would say would be this….do we all not recall how bad the men's HW division used to be? There was a time that division was a joke. Heck, up until the rise of a few new fighters in the 185 division, other than it's Champion, that division has been a joke.

          I'd say as long as you have a solid divisional champion, you can work on the rest…so yes, gather the available bodies.

          Or playing with that great line from Field of Dreams….if you build it, it will be better.

          • Zip

            Talent is there when you think about it, good point, we'll see ;

          • @Truth he is interested but only for WMMA at 135 for now, the other weight classes are too shallow while 135 is easily the most stacked division.

            It's not complicated but why would he create an entire division for a fighter who isn't even the champ and build a division around her with completely unknown fighters.

            At least 135 is being built around the champion and #1 fighter, it has also at least 5 or 6 of the best woman fighters P4P.

            If she can't make 135 the she is irrelevant.

            There could be this amazing fighter out there who is top 10 P4P but weight 350 lbs, if he can;t make 265 then he is unfortunately irrelevant in the UFC and therefore most of MMA.
            Same for Cyborg

  • Woof

  • I think that Tito being her manager is obviously a huge negative here. Dana loves his cash queen Rousey and would never put her in a situation where she could lose this early on.
    Dana's comments are beyond ridiculous. Especially when one compares what Cyborg is asking for compared to what the UFC hasdone in the male divisions. At the end of the day Dana has no legs to stand on. After all he brought these womens division issues upon himself by buying into one fighter.

  • Why does anyone care about Cyborg anymore? We all know that cheating in the past will help you later on even if you don't take them anymore, she will be on trt within 2 years.

  • Dana White ripped into Fedor, then offered him a huge contract, then publicly humiliated again, then tried to get a fight with brock Lesnar while maintaining he was overated and a has been….

    Dana is so full of shit….He tries to bring fighters credentials down to get them signed for less then talks them up as soon as they sign a contract saying they are the nastiest and baddest fighters.